The “last time” is just around the corner

My Kiddos

I lay in bed with my newly eight year old, scratching his back and talking about our day. As exhaustion took over, he asked for my pinky, which he holds every night for just a few minutes while I sing Silent Night. It’s a silly little thing that brings him comfort and allows me a few moments to hold on to “my first baby”.

It’s a ritual we’ve been doing for many years. The song sometimes changes (although I’ve been singing Silent Night every night for the last two years, but the routine is the same. When we don’t do it, he becomes unraveled. I never realized how much he needs it until we attempted a sleepover at a neighbor’s house. He was home at 9:15. “I couldn’t sleep without you singing and Daddy saying Good Night.” I can’t say I minded one little bit.

For years, I’ve called our bedtime routine “ridiculous”. Because sometimes it is. Ever since my kids were beyond pacifiers and a quick lullaby, it’s been a long, drawn-out chain of events. Brush teeth. Read books. Both parents need to come in to each room to talk. It’s never quick. Whenever I try to rush it, it always results in tears and yelling. Not fun for anyone.

It’s only recently that I’ve realized what a gift our bedtime routine is. Sure, there are days when I’m all “JUST GO TO BED!”. There are days when I am craving that one hour on the couch, so I can zone out to whatever I’m currently binging on Netflix. But lately? Lately I’ve been thinking of the “last time”.  It’s coming. My son is eight years old. We are fast approaching the years where he’ll yell down “Good Night!” and that will be it. He won’t want snuggles or hugs. He won’t want to talk.

So yes, our routine has become a gift. What started out as a stalling tactic has fast become something I take advantage of — tell me about your day, what was the best and worst part of it, how are your friends doing, did you learn anything new that you don’t understand or is confusing? When kids start elementary school, it’s their first venture out of your little familial bubble. They are going to learn things you don’t want them to learn, earlier than you want them to learn it. That’s why I’m grateful for these few moments where they’ll talk to us, share with us.

Parenting is hard. We all know that. Each stage has it’s rewards and challenges. But you blink and the stage is over. It’s a parenting milestone of sorts, that last time. And that’s what I’m currently worried about. I’m not going to know it happened. A day or two will go by and all of a sudden I’ll realize that it’s over. And I won’t have had the chance to prepare, to say goodbye. Then I’ll grieve.

So every night, I stay a little longer, I sing an extra song,  I hold a little tighter. Because this could be it. This could be our last time.

I just hope it’s not today.

My Kiddos


The Durham Hotel: Worth a Night Away

Counter Culture Coffee

A few weeks ago, in the midst of the holiday chaos, I needed a night away. I needed a night away quite desperately. Between holiday shopping, work and making it through the Thanksgiving week, I needed something just for me. And I got it in the form of a girl’s night in Durham. Lucky for me,… [Read More]

Walt Disney Movies for 2017


Oooooh, I’m so excited. Disney just released their slate of movies for the year and there are some GREAT ones on the list. So get your calendars out and mark these dates down! You won’t want to miss any of these. March 17, 2017 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Walt Disney Studios) April 21, 2017 – BORN IN… [Read More]

39 things to do before I turn 40

Things to Do Before I Turn 40

Today is my birthday, my 39th birthday to be exact. That means I have exactly 365 days before I turn 40. I’ll admit that makes a part of me uneasy. Forty has always seemed so…old. But it’s not really, not at all, though shaking that mentality is difficult. I’ve got a year to get “okay”… [Read More]

Time Keeps On Ticking: My Word of the Year


I’ve been thinking about a “word of the year” for the past several days. Nothing was really sticking. I toyed with the idea of appreciation – to focus on what I have in front of me, appreciate my life for what it is etc. But after a day or two, of rolling around in my… [Read More]

Quick and Easy Canvas Crafts for Kids


I love giving handmade gifts. The problem is I’m not actually all that artistically inclined. I can kind of dress things up and make them look nice, but free hand art, sewing and building? Not up my alley. Not to mention, some of those things take a lot of time, which I always seems to… [Read More]

A letter to my son on his eighth birthday

My sweet boy

My sweet boy, Today you are eight. I try to come to grips with it, but in my mind, I still want to imagine a little boy with chubby cheeks, toddling down the hallway. That’s not where we are. You are an athlete – basketball, baseball, soccer…you name it, you want to play it. This… [Read More]

6 Books That Make Great Gifts


Relaxing with a good book is something so many of us wish we had more time for. That’s one of the many things that makes a book the perfect gift. You’re asking someone to take a little time to sit and enjoy the carefully crafted story on the pages in front of them. To help… [Read More]

Stocking Stuffers for the Whole Family


If you’ve been following me for some time, you’ll know that stockings are my number one favorite thing about Christmas. It’s always been a big deal in my family and it’s way more fun than the actual presents. Stockings can be filled with anything you can think of…candy, beauty items, any sort of fun tchotchke you… [Read More]